Mark the date: On the last weekend of July 2018, the Kardashian family infiltrated the world of casinos, and, boastfully, on two coasts..
On Sunday, Kim Kardashian West, Khloé Kardashian Kris Jenner and Kendall Jenner hosted tables at the first annual ‘If Only’ Texas Hold’Em Charity Poker Tournament on the floor of The Forum in Inglewood, California. The for-charity event focused on the City of Hope’s Future Hope Committee and its continued outreach toward the clinical research and treatment for cancer, diabetes and additional life-threatening diseases.
On Saturday night, and without the benefit of charitable anything, Kourtney Kardashian hit the red carpet for the grand opening of the brand new Sugar Factory American Brasserie at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. She came dressed in appropriately sugary pink silks (a Marina Moscone dress is what tipsters tell me), sipped and nibbled the candy shoppe’s wares, then split. This Saturday’s dose of reality show Kardashian-ism came mere weeks after Kourtney’s husband (or ex-husband?) Scott Disick popped up at the Hard Rock’s DAER Nightclub to check out a DJ/rap performance by Ludacris, only to find a Disick-lookalike also hanging within the confines of the Atlantic City dance club’s VIP suite. If you won’t take my word for the dueling would-be Disicks (as if one wasn’t enough), you can check out the New York Post’s Page Six photo spread comparison.
This is not the place for Kardashian bashing, and there’s no need for it, besides. They’ve earned their money through good old-fashioned sweat, sponsorship, reality television, app formation and make-up doyenne dollars. As for hanging out in casino Atlantic City in July, that’s not even a big deal or novel concept: Before she went West, Kim Kardashian hosted a watery party at The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort in 2012, right after she hit up a Beyonce concert at Revel's Ovation Hall opening weekend.
The reason such celebrity is a big deal now, is that, if the new Atlantic City of Hard Rocks, Ocean Resort, refreshed Tropicana properties and the likes wishes to keep up with its Vegas brethrein in the present — or even hot Philadelphia nightlife spots such as NOTO in Chinatown (who recently brought in the likes of Migos and Travis Scott to host parties), and South Philly’s Vanity Grand strip club (who, within the played year, had host nights with Cardi B and Meek Mill) — it has got to keep up with the Kardashians. It must pursue their fellow household brand name commodities for parties and hosting duties. Or at least get more look-a-likes like Scott Disick has hanging around as his doppelganger.
“People love celebrities, and celebrity culture and no one knows how to get them, then throw a big party with them like Joey Morrissey,” said Ocean Resort Casino live entertainment executive Lou Branchinelli about his fellow executive, Managing Director and HQ2 night club overlord Morrissey. Morrissey got his street schooling education and master degree in top-tier nightlife by creating and/or promoting massive parties for Peter Gatian (Sound Factory, Roxy), in Manhattan, as well as his own independent bashes that put the Hamptons on the map for millennial nightlife. “No more, though,” said Morrissey of the Hamptons and Downtown New York City. “If I bring 10,000 people to a neighborhood in the Hamptons or Manhattan, they’d have a problem with me,” said Morrissey. “If I bring 10,000 people to a club in Atlantic City, they’ll throw me a parade.”
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Morrissey, so far, has brought Mark Wahlberg, “America’s Got Talent” judge Heidi Klum, Academy Award-winning actor and singer Jamie Foxx, and comedian Russell Peters to his club for party hosting, hanging and DJing duties. Victorias's Secret models Leomie Anderson and Shanina Shaik hit up HQ2 just weeks after its end-of-June opening night. Just two weeks ago he got NBA basketball legend and ever-present pitchman Shaquille O’Neal to spin at HQ2 under the nom de plume, DJ Diesel — but not before lowering the floor and re-doing the just-built DJ booth to accommodate Shaq’s 300+ pound, 7-foot frame. Together, Morrissey and Branchinelli will bring top-notch celebrity-drawing spinners Green Velvet (Aug. 12) and Steve Angello (Aug. 11) and Dada Life (Aug. 4) to his state-of-the-art dance den. “People want to hang where celebrities hang, plain and simple,” said Morrissey. “And celebrities want to hang someplace where they feel safe, and can let their hair down. It’s a great combination.”
Let’s get Kim Kardashian back here pronto. And tell her to bring her husband.
Beyond the Velvet Rope
Along with new spots such as Hard Rock’s DAER and Ocean Resort’s HQ2, this is where celebrities mingle with each other and tingle paying partygoers.
The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort + Casino
After pumping millions of dollars into a sonic and visual upgrade, Harrah’s weekends (and Wednesdays!) at “The Pool After Dark” series has welcomed DJ Paris Hilton (I know, she just hit a button on a laptop program, but she’s not bad), 50 Cent, French Montana and DJ Paully D from the “Jersey Shore” or just happens to be a regular at The Pool, for many of its “Savage Saturdays.” Look for rappers Cam’ron (August 4) and Ma$e (September 1(, the cast of MTV’s “Floribama Shore” (Aug.10), N’Sync’s Lance Bass & Joey Fatone (Aug. 25 and 26) and the teaming of Ja Rule and Ashanti (Aug. 12) to host upcoming Pool-side nights.
Haven Nightclub at Golden Nugget Casino AC
Lil Kim - rap queen and “Love & Hip Hop” Remy Ma’s rival – hosts the Aug. 11 party inside the Nugget
The Event Center at the Borgata Casino
The Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance and The Borgata team up for PRIDE BINGO on September 1 with “RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars” winner, Trixie Mattel, her drag performing pals, and “It’s Raining Men” singer Marsha Wash.